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SKODA OCTAVIA

1.5 TSI SE L 5dr

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Skoda Octavia - By Jonathan Crouch

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

Skoda's fourth generation Octavia sharpens up its act. Jonathan Crouch reports

Ten Second Review

A Skoda Octavia was once the least sophisticated of all the Volkswagen Group's family hatchback products. Not any more. Almost nothing has been held back for this fourth generation version. It's still bigger and better value than most of its rivals, a Mondeo-sized medium range hatch for the price of a Focus-sized one. The difference now though, is that it's clever enough, once again, to change the way you think about Skoda.

Background

You can trace the Skoda success story of the last few decades back to the original launch of one model: this one - the Octavia. Right from its very first appearance in 1996, this has been a car that's always super-sized its value proposition, offering more space than the class norm. For first and second generation versions, that class saw competition amongst Focus and Astra-class family hatches. The MK3 model of 2012 took a step up in the world, virtually big enough to compete with Mondeos and Insignias in the larger medium range segment and this fourth generation version continues to offer that kind of proposition. This Octavia though, is more sophisticated than ever before - and cleverer too - as it has to be to distance itself from the simpler, but not much smaller Scala model that hit the market in the Spring of 2019, not long before this car arrived. The Scala is the car to choose for Skoda motoring as it used to be, light on frills and cutting-edge technology but solid, reliable, value-laden and built to last. This Octavia, in contrast, is more a signpost to a direction the Czech brand wants to go in the future: one that shares the very latest technology with more luxurious brands in the Volkswagen Group stable.

Driving Experience

The powerplant range here has a familiar look if you're familiar with Skoda's borrowed Wolfsburg-sourced engineware. Volume sales are based around either a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, offered in either 115 or 150PS guises. Or the brand's usual 1.5 TSI EVO 150PS petrol powerplant, which gets the brand's 'e-TECH'-branded 48-volt mild hybrid engine tech when mated to DSG auto transmission. You can also talk to your dealer about an entry-level 1.0-litre three cylinder 110PS petrol unit, which in DSG auto form, also gets that mild hybrid technology. The top vRS sporting model offers two conventional engines, a 245PS 2.0-litre TSI petrol unit and a 200PS 2.0 TDI diesel, the latter available with the option of 4WD. If you want an extra does of electrification, the Octavia model line offers two plug-in hybrid 'iV' model options. This powertrain is offered in 204PS form or, with the sporty vRS iV, in uprated 245PS guise. Like its predecessor, this MK4 Octavia uses the Volkswagen Group's MQB front wheel drive and All-Wheel Drive platform, but in this case the revised version of it that recently debuted on the new-era MK8 Volkswagen Golf. Whatever flavour of Octavia you happen to prefer, it'll come with a fresh generation of drive assist technology. Previously, the optional 'ACC' 'Adaptive Cruise Control' system (now standard) merely braked and accelerated the car based around a pre-set speed. Now, it uses the car's front camera system, GPS data and a host of sensors to drive the car predictively. So when 'ACC' is set, the car knows in advance about bends, roundabouts and upcoming traffic flow, plus this Skoda will adapt itself to speed limits as you enter them.

Design and Build

The last Octavia took quite a big step forward in size; this one has grown more slightly, the hatchback version 19mm longer than before with the ever-popular estate variant now 22mm lengthier. In both cases, width has increased by 15mm. Visually, you'd certainly recognise this as an Octavia if you'd owned one before, but the car looks a little more mature and sophisticated now and features full-LED headlights as standard. LED lighting also features in the wider, thinner rear lamps. Where work was needed on this model line though, was in the cabin. Skoda interiors have always been smart and functional but a little dull. This one could almost fool you that you were sitting in a VW Passat, which is another way of saying that quite a big step forward in perceived quality has been now made. Softer-touch plastics, much more chrome trim and configurable LED ambient lighting all now feature and the new two-spoke multi-function steering wheel looks smart too. As is the current fashion, a digital instrument binnacle display is available, this one 10.25-inches in size. It's complemented by your choice of centre-dash screen; there are four choices, a base 8.25-inch monitor, then, if you can afford more, three 10-inch displays of varying functionality. As usual with an Octavia, back seat space is class-leading. As is boot capacity, which has grown to 600-litres in the hatch, or 640-litres in the estate.

Market and Model

For the time being, the core trim level is 'SE Technology' and pricing sits primarily in the £23,000-£25,000 bracket. Plus there are also 'SE First Edition' and 'SE L First Edition' launch variants. Whichever trim level you opt for, as usual, there's a premium of around £1,000 if you want the estate rather than the five-door hatch. As usual with a Skoda, all variants get as standard a range of practical 'Simply Clever' features. In this case, that means a helpful AdBlue nozzle for diesel variants and familiar touches like an ice scraper secreted in the fuel cap and a ticket clip on the driver's side A-pillar. If you've more to spend, a 'Sleep package' can be added that'll give you more comfortable rear seat head rests, stowed blankets and sun blinds. Other extras include massaging front seats, a head-up display and Matrix LED headlights that adapt to the road and other vehicles. As you'd expect, camera-driven safety kit provision has taken a step forward. The brand's 'Collision Avoidance Assistance' autonomous braking system is, as expected, standard right across the range, along with lane departure warning featuring steering assistance and predictive cruise control, which works alongside an updated traffic sign recognition set-up. If you specify your car correctly, you'll find that the cruise control set-up can combine with Skoda's 'Lane Keep Assist' and 'Traffic Jam Assist' systems to provide for a degree of semi-autonomous driving.

Cost of Ownership

You'll be wanting the WLTP emissions figures that'll determine this car's tax status. For the manual 1.5 TSI petrol, it's 127g/km (or 130g/km for the Estate). For the 2.0 TDI 115PS diesel manual, it's 113g/km (or 118g/km for the Estate). For the 2.0 TDI 150PS auto, it's 120g/km (or 123g/km for the Estate). The e-TECH system that features on Octavia 1.0 and 1.5 TSI petrol models fitted with DSG auto transmission is of course the same one we're increasingly seeing on various VW Group models. To recap, it pairs a 12-volt belt-driven starter motor with a small 48-volt lithium ion-battery, which stores energy that's recuperated under braking. The setup assists the petrol engine with a small electric boost, while also enabling this Skoda to coast with the engine completely disengaged at speed on the highway, improving efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. Don't get your hopes up too high though, as to the effect all of this will have on your running costs. Experience with equivalent Audis has shown us that it doesn't make an enormous amount of difference. If a difference is what you want, then what you need is the Octavia iV (apparently the letters reference 'innovative car'), which is the brand's first plug-in model in this segment. Here, a 1.4 TSI petrol engine combines with an e-motor fed by a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack and, when the cells are fully charged, will enable an Octavia iV to travel for a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range of 34 miles.

Summary

The Octavia name - based on the latin for 'eight' - is an almost inseparable part of Skoda's history, dating all the way back to 1959 when it arrived to designate the eighth design produced by the Czech brand following World War II. In modern era guise, Octavias have sold prolifically, enough, if placed end-to-end, to fill all three lanes of the complete M25. But those sales of course date back to a time when this was a slightly smaller and much less sophisticated car. How will modern era buyers cope with a version of this Skoda that's quite a lot more expensive and sophisticated. It'll be interesting to see. What's clear is that like its Korean competitors, Skoda sees a future in which it no longer competes as a 'value brand'. That market will be left to the Chinese. Instead, the Czech maker wants a higher quality image developed alongside higher quality products - cars like this one. They want the purchase of something like an Octavia to be viewed not as a cheaper choice but instead as rather a clever one. That time may already have arrived.

Skoda Octavia - Skoda's fourth generation Octavia is an object lesson in the art of building a solid, reliable and classy family car. June Neary pays due respect

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

Skoda's fourth generation Octavia is an object lesson in the art of building a solid, reliable and classy family car. June Neary pays due respect

Will It Suit Me?

With its imposing front grille and boldly sculpted lines, the MK4 Octavia looks as if it's been milled from a solid rock. It just looks expensive, despite the crest on the bonnet nagging otherwise. Most would probably think it was a Volkswagen or an Audi and although rather closely related, these two marques will cost a good deal more than Skoda ask for the current Octavia. Only the most ignorant will still poke fun at Skoda's image. If they do, give them a ride around the block and watch them suffer at the all-you-can-eat humble pie buffet. Decently sized, the Octavia I tested - the 2.0 TDI 150 model - certainly looked more expensive than its list price and compared to most of its direct competitors looks a very tempting proposition. I think this car could definitely find a space in my garage.

Practicalities

Like all Octavia models so far produced, this one boasts a practical hatchback rather than the boot its stub-tailed lines may suggest. The first three generations of Octavia were renowned for possessing some of the biggest payloads in their class but this MK4 model has comprehensively trumped that, available capacity in the hatch now 600 litres with the rear seats in place. That grows to 640-litres in the alternative estate version. Kids and adults alike will find that passenger room is similarly generous - and that's important since the prodigious luggage space of older Octavias often required rear seat passengers to pay in kind. The length of today's hatch model has been teased out by another 19mm, endowing it with admirable rear legroom even when the front seats are occupied by long limbed adults. Rear headroom is better than the swooping roofline would suggest, helped in no small part by a slightly more generous seat back recline than in many such cars. The fascia feels much smarter than before. Enhancements to the switchgear, entertainment systems and trim send the cabin up in class a good few notches. There's ample room for five inside and there's even an estate version if you need more space. It really does seem more like the flagship Skoda Superb - albeit after a hot wash cycle - and feels a couple of classes removed from the next car down in the Skoda hierarchy, the Scala family hatch.

Behind the Wheel

There's no shortage of poke from the 2.0-litre TDI 150 engine. This engine is good for a maximum speed of 141mph and will return a combined WLTP fuel economy figure of over 61.4mpg. It's a good environmental citizen, emitting not much more than 120g of carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled (WLTP). A less powerful 115PS version of the 2.0 TDI unit is also offered. Petrol is mounting something of a fightback after a good few years of diesel dominance and engines like the Volkswagen Group TSI units are in the vanguard. Two of these units are available with this Octavia. First comes a 110PS 1.0-litre TSI, then there's the 1.5-litre TSI unit with 150PS. This latter engine can also be had with 'eTSI' mild hybrid tech if you choose it with the optional 7-speed DSG auto gearbox. All the latest Octavias benefit from Skoda's quest to endow the chassis with Ford Focus-style driving manners. Even with the wick turned down a good few notches, it can't help but feel extremely capable when stitching a series of bends together. The steering feels like a good hydraulically assisted set-up but is in fact electro-mechanically assisted. The sophisticated multi-link rear suspension offered on the 150PS models does a great job of keeping road bumps and thumps nicely suppressed.

Value For Money

In a word, excellent, but what would you expect from Skoda? Prices mainly sit in the £22,000 to £30,000 bracket and there's a choice of either five-door or estate body styles. Buyers in search of extra traction can choose the all-wheel-drive transmission of the 4x4 models. The standard front-wheel-drive Octavia is also available with the advanced seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox that has received critical acclaim on models from across the Volkswagen Group empire. Skoda can offer the usual raft of high tech gadgetry to enhance the Octavia ownership experience. The plusher models come with touch screen stereo and navigation systems with the option of a 30Gb hard disc for storing music. Owners can also connect their music players through iPod, AUX or USB connectors which allow the track listings to be displayed on screen in the car. There are high-tech parking sensors too with a visual guide on the central display screen as well as an audible warning signal.

Could I Live With One?

Only the most prehistoric badge snob will turn their nose at this Octavia. It feels just as well built as a Volkswagen Golf and looks a good deal more distinguished. It's probably not a car that will appeal to younger buyers, but those that do take the plunge are unlikely to be disappointed.

Driver Aids

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane assist
  • Park assist (inc front/rear parking sensors) (£355.00)
  • Drive mode selector
  • Blind Spot Detection (BAS) (£510.00)
  • Front and rear parking sensors with manoeuvre assist
  • Rear-view parking camera (Inc Full Matrix LED headlights,rear LED lights (high),dynamic indicators,cornering front fog lights) (£2,015.00)
  • Rear-view parking camera Inc Rear LED lights (high) and dynamic indicators (£605.00)

Interior Features

  • Leather upholstery (£240.00)
  • Microsuede cloth upholstery
  • Satin black microsuede with grey stitching in padded dash panel
  • Satin black microsuede with Stone beige stitching in dash board pads (£0.00)
  • Tetris black fabric with grey stitching in dash board pads (£0.00)
  • Beige dashboard trim (£0.00)

Safety

  • Manual rear child locks
  • Driver and passenger front and side airbags
  • Crew protection assist and front central airbags (£345.00)
  • Front and rear crew protection assist and rear side airbags with front central airbags (£705.00)

Driver Convenience

  • Boot lid release from inside vehicle (electrically)
  • Virtual pedal with electrically operated boot door (Rear LED lights (high functionality), dynamic indicators and power operated child safety locks) (£840.00)
  • Electrically operated boot door (Includes rear LED lights (high functionality) and dynamic indicators and power-operated child safety locks) (£650.00)

Driver Information

  • Head up Display (£700.00)
  • Driver fatigue sensor (£45.00)
  • Travel assist (£260.00)

Seats

  • Heated front seats
  • Electrically adjustable driver's seat with memory and lumbar support (£455.00)
  • Height adjustable driver seat with lumbar support

Driving Mirrors

  • Blind spot detection with electrically adjustable, heated, folding and auto dimming door mirrors (£545.00)
  • Electric adjustable/heated/folding door mirrors with auto dimming

Entertainment

  • 8 speakers
  • Canton sound system (£590.00)

Trim - Cloth

  • Microsuede cloth - Black (£0.00)
  • Microsuede cloth - Beige (£0.00)

Body Glass

  • Rear window wiper (£0.00)

Heating/Cooling/Ventilation

  • Climatronic dual-zone electronic air conditioning

Trim - Leather

  • Leather - Black (£240.00)

Paint - Metallic

  • Metallic - Petrol Blue (£595.00)
  • Metallic - Quartz grey (£595.00)
  • Metallic - Brilliant silver(£595.00)
  • Metallic - Race blue (£595.00)
  • Metallic - Titan blue (£595.00)
  • Metallic - Moon white (£595.00)

Exterior Body Features

  • Metallic paint (£595.00)
  • Pearlescent paint (£595.00)
  • Solid paint
  • Special solid paint (£595.00)
  • Exclusive paint (£975.00)

Exterior Lights

  • Headlight washers
  • LED front fog lights
  • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear lights - low functionality
  • Full LED Matrix headlights with AFS and integrated headlight washers, rear LED lights and dynamic indicators and cornering front fog lights (£1,610.00)

Wheels - Alloy

  • 18" Perseus alloy wheels (£515.00)
  • 18" Perseus anthracite alloy wheels (£975.00)
  • 17" Rotare Aero alloy wheels
  • 17" Pulsar Aero black alloy wheels (£0.00)

Paint - Special

  • Exclusive paint - Velvet red (£975.00)
  • Exclusive paint - Crystal black (£975.00)
  • Special solid - Corrida red (£595.00)

Wheels - Spare

  • Tyre repair kit
  • Temporary space saver wheel with 205/60 R16 tyre (£185.00)
  • Temporary space saver wheel with 125/70 R18 tyre (£185.00)

Driving Mirrors

  • Blind spot detection with electrically adjustable, heated, folding and auto dimming door mirrors (£545.00)
  • Electric adjustable/heated/folding door mirrors with auto dimming

Paint - Pearlescent

  • Pearl - Black magic (£595.00)

Paint - Solid

  • Solid - Energy blue (£0.00)

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 39.8
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 70.6
  • EC Combined (mpg): 55.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 36.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 34
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 60.1
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 48.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 54.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 42.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 7.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 8.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 4.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 5.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 5.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 6.7

General

  • Coin Series: SE L
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Safety Concerns?: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 18E
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: 999999
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 92
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 88
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 73
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 79
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 150
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False

Emissions - ICE

  • CO2 (g/km): 117
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • NOx: 0.018
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: 0.0001
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 123
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 174
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 189
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 126
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 147
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 105
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 130
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 118
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 157
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 151
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 123

Engine and Drive Train

  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 85.9
  • CC: 1498
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • Gears: 6 SPEED

Performance

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.5
  • Top Speed: 143
  • Engine Power - BHP: 150
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • Engine Power - KW: 110
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 184
  • Engine Torque - NM: 250
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25.5

Weight and Capacities

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1261
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1850
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 47.8
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 660
  • Max. Loading Weight: 589
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 600
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1555
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.4

Tyres

  • Tyre Size Front: 205/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: ROTARE
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Length: 4689
  • Width: 1829
  • Wheelbase: 2686
  • Width (including mirrors): 1994
  • Height: 1470
  • Height (including roof rails): N

Fuel Economy

  • 60.1 MPG (Combined)
  • 45.6 MPG (Urban)
  • 72.4 MPG (Extra Urban)
Fuel Tank Size: 45 Litres

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